Biking Central America MTB Racecources
MTB Racecources - Those of you who may be preparing to run a Central American mountain bike race for the first time may be interested in knowing about some of the conditions with which you may be confronted. For purposes of this article, we’ve collected a hodgepodge of adrenaline-rushing accounts from many different El Reto racers.
El Reto del Quetzal
The epic-style mountain bike stage race is what El Reto is fashioned after. Or off-road stage racing which has been developing a great following. Named for the long-tailed quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird, El Reto is a race that was started in 2007. This is a fitting comparison. Riders often go over very steep slopes of over 30 degrees, then ascending to around 10,000 feet of altitude. The thing about downhill racing is that it requires a great deal of skill and astute maneuvering in order to avoid crashing into other racers and oncoming traffic, especially along those narrow, twisting mountain roads.
MTB Racecources - An historic course trekked by the Mayans centuries ago. The three-day race compared to other epics has more single-track mileage. Beginning in Antigua, the 145-mile course concludes in Retalhuleu. Teams of two check in daily at three points, within five minutes of each rider, or they are hit with an hour penalty. After the conclusion of the race, accumulated times are added for a determination of final results.Greg Bruce
and Scott Seaton
, two men from Oregon who both finished second in the 2008 El Reto race, have shared their adventures with the public, http://trailboss.livejournal.com/ in this must-read if you’re truly interested in Central American mountain bike racing. To quote Scott's, "The mileage is long, but not brutal". MTB Racecources - What it really involves is racing over mere survival.
Pro world champion Susan Haywood
, who rides for Trek/Volkswagen and who was one of the main features in one of our previous articles, (Emerging MTB Action Scene) says that La Ruta is a more difficult race than El Reto, thanks to more hills and stiffer competition. El Rito, which didn’t have much in the way of single track, was a little easier than some American races like the Breck Epic and Pisgah MTB Stage Race.
Sharing his vivid El Reto stories and images(http://jasonhilimire.com/2009/10/el-reto-de-quetzal-day-1/), Jason Hilimire
another pro biker, writes: On Day 1 'After the long lunch, it was back to the room for an hour of nap-time and then right back to the restaurant to eat a second lunch.' We were so hungry we scarcely noticed the first. After getting the incentive to rest more by our second lunch, we headed to the dinner buffet where we gorged to fill our bellies with anything we found suitable. Just stage racing, riding, eating and sleeping. MTB Racecources - What could possibly be better than that? Don't you be fooled by this. Jason reports that the previous day’s efforts left him feeling pretty "hosed," and that he anticipated that the second day "was looking to be another epic day." It may have been short in stature, but it had enough vertical to take us up more than 9500 feet. For more cool stories and vistas,
For those looking for different options for their first-time Central American MTB action, the more manageable 18K, 28K and 42K off-road series of the San Juan Howler
are a good choice.
MTB Racecources - Here’s to the adventure racer and graphics designer Ligia Madrigal. The Costa Rican champion in the female division. Stay away from drugs while you keep smiling, find pleasure in life, keep riding, train hard, make sacrifices, and do what is required to be the best.
Author: Sunamita Lim, with over 20 years experience, an awardwinning author, race organizer, tireless volunteer together with whereintheworldareyou.com
brings you a series of adrenaline on the unique challenges and insights into mountain biking for the shear joy of it and mountain bike racing in Central America. Check out more MTB Racecourses
now. Copyright, all rights reserved.
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